Further doubts on the ability of Member States to comply with the new EU pig welfare legislation emerged with publication of figures by the EU Commission, suggesting that several UK market suppliers are less than 70% compliant.
With less than a month to go before the new welfare regulations come into force, the EU Commission published their latest provisional statistics, which suggested widely differing levels of compliance among Member States.
The current state of implementation of the ban on sow stalls for pregnant sows, was given as follows:
- 100%: Austria, Estonia, Luxemburg, Sweden, UK
- > 90%: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia
- > 80%: Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Poland
- > 70%: Finland, Malta, Slovenia, Spain
- > 60%: Cyprus, Holland, Ireland, Italy
- > 40%: Belgium, Germany, Portugal
- > 30%: France
Many important suppliers to the UK 'market' - 'Spain', Italy, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and France – had compliance levels of 70% or below.
We understand that these figures are ‘best estimates’ and are at considerable variance with previously published data.
The figures are described as current levels of compliance and do not take into account those producers who may decide to exit the industry by the end of the year. In the case of Denmark, it is estimated that around 10% of sow producers, mainly smaller farms, will cease production.